If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Shelton, WA, you will be required to appear in court the next business day at 4:00 p.m. for your arraignment. At court, you will be given a packet of information explaining the charge against you, the penalties if convicted, and the rights that you have as a defendant in a criminal case. The judge will ask you to sign a paper indicating you have been advised of your rights, then you will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. In most cases a plea of not guilty is your best choice. The court will then impose conditions of release (or if you have a significant history of prior offenses, you may be taken into custody and required to post bail for your release). Having an attorney present for this hearing is an absolute must if you have prior alcohol related convictions. You will be given a date to return for a pretrial hearing, and another for trial term.
It is extremely important that you contact an attorney prior to your arraignment or shortly thereafter. There are strategies that an attorney may wish to employ in Shelton or Mason County that are only available in the first few days following your arraignment. If you delay in seeking counsel, you may lose this important defense.
It is also important that you realize that aside from the court case, you have a civil case against your license as well. Your license will be automatically suspended or revoked 60 days from the date of your arrest, unless you request a hearing within 20 days of the date of your arrest. At Callahan Law, we recommend that you mail your hearing request on the 19th day following your DUI arrest, contact us at 360 426-8788 and we can explain why.
At Callahan Law, we fight to obtain for you the best possible resolution of your case. Typically, we research and draft motions and legal briefing designed to attack the prosecution’s evidence. Sometimes, because of these efforts, the prosecution may offer a reduction of the charge to something lesser than a DUI. When the facts of the case do not allow for a reduction, we make the prosecution prove the case at trial. Our mission is to strive to resolve your case with the least possible consequences to you.
Why? Because if you plead guilty, you will be convicted and suffer the harsh consequences of conviction. These include mandatory jail time, mandatory fines, costs and assessments, a mandatory ignition interlock device on your vehicle, up to five years of probation, mandatory substance abuse assessment and treatment if prescribed, along with attendance at alcohol information school and a DUI Victims’ Impact Panel. You will also lose your license. There are consequences that follow outside the courtroom. You will have to obtain SR22 insurance, and your insurance rates may go up or your policy may be canceled. You may experience problems with your employment because of the time you need to take off for court, or because of the conviction. You may have trouble renting a car on vacation or business trips and entering foreign countries, such as Canada, with a DUI conviction.
As all of this is sinking in, you probably realize that you need to find a good attorney who will really fight to help you avoid some of these harsh potential consequences. This is what we do for our clients at Callahan Law.
How do you find a good attorney? A DUI charge is difficult to defend, requiring specialized knowledge of the scientific principles of breath and blood testing and conditions that can affect the accuracy of the result. Very few attorneys have acquired the specialized knowledge that these difficult cases require. If you needed brain surgery, you wouldn’t have your family general practitioner operate on you, likewise, you should carefully select an experienced, knowledgeable and skilled lawyer for your DUI / DWI case. At Callahan Law, we have chosen to focus exclusively on DUI defense.
You also want an attorney who will “think outside the box” introducing creative and innovative strategies in defense of your case. This is the hallmark of Callahan Law; we constantly seek new strategies to unravel the prosecution’s case. We go the extra mile. We conduct an independent investigation seeking to uncover facts favorable to you.
Having an attorney who stays on top of the latest trends in DUI defense will also be an asset to your case. Ms. Callahan is a published author (her latest book, DUI Book, Washington Edition, will be released soon), and she teaches other lawyers how to defend DUI cases.
You probably still have lots of questions and have some anxiety about your case. Why don’t you call us now for a free consultation? We know you will feel better once you do. Call Callahan Law at 360 426-8788, or toll free at 1-877-DUI-ANSWER (1-877-384-2679) today. The sooner you call, the better you’ll feel.